Daily Practice for July 6, 2016

Word:

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of memes going around with essentially a list of ISIL bombings during Ramadan and then the claim that they are not Muslim. The idea being, Islam is a religion of peace, therefore if you don’t do peace, you are not of Islam.

I have longed for it to be that easy in Christianity. The Crusades were not peaceful, therefore they were not following the Prince of Peace, and were not Christian. I’d love to leave Westboro Baptist Church out of the family of Christianity. They are horrible and while having not bombed people, they have done spiritual violence to thousands of people.

Unfortunately, it is not that easy.

We have to acknowledge that we can get to violent ideology within our religious traditions. Pretending they don’t exist is no help. And plus, I hate the language that defines who a “real ChristianTM” or “real MuslimTM” or “real believerTM” is. Like they have a trademark on what is the defining characteristics. It almost always means that someone is left out.

The extremists that distort the messages of peace to messages of power are within all religions and ideologies. That makes us human. It does not divorce people from their religion/ideology. They are still a product of it.

We need to sit in the tension that the same religion that produces Shirin Ebadi produces Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The same religion that produces Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., produces Dylan Roof.

The same ideology that allows ISIL to bomb others during Ramadan is the same ideology that allowed Richard Nixon, a Christian Quaker President of the US, to start a Christmas bombing campaign against North Vietnam. And yet, they all claim faith.

It’s hard. And that is why we need to have a bigger conversation than simply #NotInMyName.

Today marks the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, the festival that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. This should be a joyous time! A time marking the breaking of the month-long fast. But I know that it is going to be bitter-sweet for many as they hold the violence towards their own people in their heart. I can only imagine that Muslims who start from a place of peace are also feeling a little bit of heart-break.

Today, I’m going to #keepitsmall and honor the Religion of Peace (Islam), the Prince of Peace (Christianity), and Shalom (Judaism) by reading a prayer by Amy Shaw, Unitarian Universalist:

A Prayer for the World

For all who die in war
   We lift up our hearts
For all who live in suffering in the aftermath of violence
   We lift up our hearts
For all who give their lives in smoke and flame
   We lift up our hearts
For all who go on in honor of the dead
   We lift up our hearts
For all who have served
   We lift up our hearts
For our country and our world
   We lift up our hearts
For a planet that will find peace
   We lift up our hearts
For the young and the innocent
   We lift up our hearts
For the weary and war torn
   We lift up our hearts
For those who would pray
   We lift up our hearts
For those too angry to cry
   We lift up our hearts
For all of us, for the many names of God
   We lift up our hearts
We lift up our hearts
Shanti, shalom, peace, sa laam.
Amen.

Today's practice brings us music from Holly Near a poem from Wendell Berry, wisdom from Howard Thurman, and a photo from Farrukh at flickr. Along with readings from the Jewish and Christian lectionaries, the Qur'an, and the Buddhist tradition.   And as always, we have our BIBOLOVE practice from Soyinka Rahim. (BIBO = Breathe In, Breathe Out). Our prayers for this week focus on Bolivia, Chile, and Peru.

Eid Mubarak!

Eid Mubarak or Blessed Eid (Arabic: عيد مبارك‎‎, Bengali: ঈদ মোবারক, Pashto: اختر مبارک‎, Persian/Urdu: عید مُبارک, Malayalam: ഈദ്‌ മുബാറക്‌, Somali: Ciid wanaagsan, Turkish: İyi bayramlar,Tamil:ஈத் முபாரக்) is a traditional Muslim greeting reserved for use on the festivals of Eid ul-Adha and Eid ul-Fitr. Eid means "Celebration" and refers to the occasion itself, and Mubarak means "blessed"; for example: "Eid Mubarak, friend!"

Opening:

Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.

BIBOLOVE: Breath In, Breath Out--yum

Music:

The Great Peace March by Holly Near

Are you black like night or red like clay
Are you gold like sun or brown like earth
Grey like mist or white like moon
My love for you is the reason for my birth

Readings:

The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Sacred Text

Jewish Daily Reading: Daily Study from Chabad

Christian Daily Reading: Revised Common Lectionary Daily Reading

Muslim Daily Reading: Daily Verse from The Only Quran

Buddhist Daily Reading: Daily Zen

Please bring your own sacred readings to the daily pattern. If there is something else you'd like to see, let me know!

Sacred Quotable

I Seek Room for Peace by Howard Thurman

I SEEK the enlargement of my heart that there may be room for Peace.

Already there is room enough for chaos.  There is in every day's experience much that makes for confusion and bewilderment.  Often I do not understand quite how my relations with others become frayed and chaotic.  Sometimes this chaos is a positive thing; it means that something new, creative and whole is beginning to pull together the tattered fragments of my relationship with a person and to fashion it into that which delights the spirit and makes glad the heart.  Sometimes the chaos is negative, a sign of degeneration in a relationship once meaningful and good.  There is room enough for chaos.

But the need of my heart is for room for Peace:  Peace of mind that inspires singleness of purpose; Peace of heart that quiets all fears and uproots all panic; Peace of spirit that filters through all confusions and robs them of their power.  These I see NOW.  I know that here in this quietness my life can be infused with Peace.

Therefore, before God, I seek the enlargement of my heart at this moment, that there may be room enough for Peace.

From the book, Meditations of the Heart, by Howard Thurman

Prayers:

I will be taking the weekly prayer from the World Council of Churches rather than writing a new prayer daily. At this point, we know the world needs to be surrounded with prayer and positive thought. This allows us to work through the world country by country. I know it is not de rigeur to have repetitive content, but I believe that these prayers deserve to be repeated.

Focus countries: Bolivia, Chile, Peru

Let us pray.

We know that we fail to live up to being makers of peace. Let us bring in rather than push out, be invitational rather than confrontational--seeing signs of life while decrying the desecration of hope.

For signs of hope and peace, we pray for

  • Those who feed the poor, even when they do not have much themselves.
  • Charangos, pan pipes and drums, sounds which give joy.
  • Liberation ideology and those who put it into practice by working for social justice with and for the poor.
  • Saint Martin de Porres, who spent his life caring for the poor of Lima.
  • Languages and cultures which try to retain an old identity while coming to terms with the modern world.
  • Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and the Andes.

For the oppressed and weary, we pray for

  • The rights of indigenous and mestizo (mixed race) peoples in these countries.
  • Social, economic, and political reforms, that they bring justice for all.
  • Economic improvement in Bolivia so that people do not need to migrate in order to send their children to school, to buy medicine for their grandparents, or to feed those left behind.
  • Those whose loved ones have been killed or disappeared under repressive regimes.
  • A healing of all the wounds that people have had to endure.
  • An end to drug trafficking throughout the region, and the availability of other economic means of support.
  • The impoverished and oppressed.

For those who suffer, are homeless, or are sick
For those we love, those we hate and those we are indifferent to
For the transformation from ME to WE

Let peace prevail on earth.
So may it be.

Lord’s Prayer:

Translation by Neil Douglas Klotz, Sufi

O Birther! Creator of the Cosmos,
Focus your light within us— make it useful:
Create your reign of unity now-
Your one desire then acts with ours,
as in all light, so in all forms.
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight.
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
as we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back.
From you is born all ruling will,
the power and the life to do,
the song that beautifies all,
from age to age it renews.
Truly— power to these statements—
may they be the ground from which all
my actions grow: Amen.

May Peace Prevail on Earth. Amen. So mote it be.

Photo by Farrukh (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Photo by Farrukh
(CC BY-NC 2.0)
Categories: amy-shaw daily-practice daily-prayer holly-near howard-thurman pbuh peace prayer ritual soyinka-rahim spiritual-practice wendell-berry

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